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Third-Party Apps On Audi Head Units Possible Without Smartphones

Audi has announced a new feature set to be rolled out in the summer of 2023, a store for apps that can be directly accessed through the vehicle’s Multimedia Interface (MMI). The said app store was developed in collaboration with Cariad, a Volkswagen subsidiary, and is aimed at increasing the digitalization of Audi vehicles.

With the new store, customers will be able to download third-party apps directly and independently onto the MMI, eliminating the detour through a smartphone.

The store for apps uses an Audi hardware module the size of a USB flash drive, which is loaded with an open-source operating system that allows access to the third-party apps in the vehicle. The apps selected by the customer can be installed seamlessly in the MMI system without any need for a smartphone.

The new store will offer customers a variety of apps, including music, video, gaming, navigation, parking and charging, productivity, weather, and news. At launch, the store will feature apps such as Amazon Music and Spotify. The app portfolio will be adapted to the various markets, and new apps will be added regularly. The store can be accessed via a separate MMI tile, and the additional apps will be implemented seamlessly in the MMI and can be used safely and reliably even while driving.

The third-party apps require a data link established via an embedded SIM, a sim card permanently installed in the vehicle. For Audi owners in Europe, the costs that accrue from using the cellular network will be billed conveniently via data volume with Cubic Telecom – with the first 25 gigabytes will be free of charge.

Meanwhile, Audi models will continue to support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with the option “smartphone interface.”

The Audi app store will be available from June in selected models equipped with the latest MIB 3 software cluster, including the Audi A3, A4/A5, Q5, A6/A7, A8, Q8 E-Tron, and Audi E-Tron GT. The functionality will be expanded to additional models in 2023. The third-party apps will not be available on old Audis.

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